Thinking the Faith: Christian Theology in a North American Context

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Fortress Press, Jan 1, 1991 - Religion - 456 pages
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"As the Christian movement nears the end of its second millennium, it faces a crisis that could not have been anticipated at the close of the first thousand years—or, indeed, by most of our own great-grandparents. …
"Since the most conspicuous dimensions of the waning of Christendom have to do with material decline (the decline in church membership and active attendance of Sunday services, the decline in financial and physical prosperity, the decline of influence in high places), such analyses as there are usually belabor the obvious: something drastic is happening to the churches! …

"Throughout most of its long history, Christianity has not required of its adherents that they should think the faith. The historical accident of its political and cultural establishment 15 centuries ago… ensured that a thinking faith would be purely optional for members of the church. …

"But thought-less faith, which has always been a contradiction in terms, is today a stage on the road to the extinction, not only of Christianity itself, but of whatever the architects of our civilization meant by 'Humanity.' Only a thinking faith can survive. Only a thinking faith can help the world survive! "

—From the Preface
 

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Contents

Introduction
17
Thinking the Faith
57
The Disciple Community
67
The Meaning of Contextuality in Christian Thought
69
2 Defining Contextuality
75
3 Why Theology Is Contextual
93
4 The Dangers of Contextuality
110
5 The Process of Thinking Contextually
126
17 Apocalyptic Consciousness and the Rise of Religious Simplism
228
Conclusion and Transition
237
The Discipline
245
Elements of the Discipline
247
18 Theology and Faith
248
19 Theology and the Bible
257
20 Theology and Doctrinal Traditions
263
21 Theology and Experience
272

What Makes for Contextuality in Christian Theology?
141
Discerning Our Context
145
8 Prisoners of Optimism
158
9 Invitation to Theology
169
10 Visions in the Night
177
Components of Our Context
197
11 The End of the Constantinian Era
200
12 Religious Pluralism
207
13 The Theological Impact of Auschwitz
210
14 Marxism and the Revolution of the Oppressed
213
15 The Rebellion of Nature
219
16 The Nuclear Crisis
223
22 Theology and Prayer
282
23 Theology and the Church
289
24 Theology and the World
299
Theological Method
325
26 Christian Apologetics
342
27 Apologetic and Kerygmatic Theology in Relation to the Concern for Contextualization
349
Knowing in Christian Faith and Theology
369
29 Reason and Revelation
388
30 What Is Revelation?
402
31 Revelation and Reason
417
32 Authority in Faith and Theology
427
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About the author (1991)

Douglas John Hall is emeritus professor of theology at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec. Among the most widely read theologians in North America, Hall has written many popular and acclaimed works, including Lighten Our Darkness (1976), God and Human Suffering (1987), and Why Christian? (1998), as well as a full-scale trilogy in systematic theology: Thinking the Faith (1991), Professing the Faith (1996), and Confessing the Faith (1998), all from Fortress Press.

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